Academic and Bar Success Initiatives

NYLS provides all students with a continuum of academic and bar support from their admission to law school through their admission to the bar. The School also helps students develop positive attitudes towards learning and identify, develop, and use the critical thinking skills necessary for the successful study of law, and practice of law, consistent with NYLS’s Student Competencies and Learning Outcomes.

Strategies for Academic and Bar Success

  • Collaboration with professors across the curriculum
  • Individual coaching and feedback for students
  • First-year and upper-level skills courses
  • Skills development workshops
  • Newsletters and other guidance and support materials


Paulina Davis, Esq., Assistant Dean for Academic Success

In 2018, Paulina Davis joined NYLS as Assistant Dean for Academic Success to lead the design and implementation of strategies and programs to enhance student learning. In this role, Assistant Dean Davis oversees the First-Year Academic Success Program and supervises the program’s teaching fellows. In addition, Assistant Dean Davis co-teaches Foundations for the Study of Law and teaches the Teaching Fellow Seminar. Through collaboration with faculty and staff, Assistant Dean Davis helps NYLS ensure that its students are able to meet the demands of a rigorous law school curriculum and excel early in their legal careers. Click here for a full biography.

Cynara Hermes McQuillan, Esq. ’03, Assistant Dean for Bar Success

Cynara Hermes McQuillan ’03 returned to NYLS to teach Legal Practice in 2016. In 2018, Professor McQuillan was appointed as Assistant Dean for Bar Success. In this capacity, she leads the coordination of bar support programming and initiatives designed to prepare students for the bar admissions process, which begins as early as the second year of law school. In addition, she teaches a section of Introduction to the MBE/MPT. Through Professor McQuillan’s vision and leadership, NYLS is providing students with the information and support they need to navigate the bar admission requirements successfully in New York and other jurisdictions. Click here for a full biography.

Darlene Young, Administrative Assistant for Academic and Bar Success Initiatives.